Tag Archive: interpretation


Interpreting Scripture Correctly

Bible and TextMan’s form of religion is full of rules and rituals in order to reach God or Karma or a state of perfection. At best, it’s merely a hollow shell with empty promises.

The Bible, by contrast, is not a burdensome book of religion; it’s the living Word of God. True Christianity is a dynamic ongoing relationship with the living Jesus Christ. As a result, we cannot treat the Bible as a book of mindless rules and build formulas out of scripture. Man, however, feels safe when the words that he reads are categorized, put into boxes, and formulas are built for instruction on how to live right.

If that is how we want to interpret scripture, then we strip the Bible of life.

Interpreting the Bible should be done in our relationship with its Author, Jesus Christ, who helps us interpret what is printed on its pages. It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that the living word of God can transform our corrupt minds and make us think and behave more like Christ.

When we don’t allow the Holy Spirit to be our Counselor, then we are in danger of misusing scripture. When we misuse scripture, we can easily damage people’s lives.

Each individual situation should be treated with individual care and prayer. Don’t rattle off scripture, because you might have grabbed the wrong one for that moment. We must not throw scripture around as we deem fit, because we might cause more harm than good and push people further away from God.

Besides putting verses in boxes, we must also be careful that we don’t place our own agenda onto our interpretation of the scriptures, because we can “see” what we want to see and miss what God is actually saying. That might require us to unlearn what we have been taught in our various churches and cultures and ask God to teach us afresh.

For an example of how we can misuse scripture if we are simplistic in interpreting it, you can go to my post, Misinterpreting Scripture on our blog, Restore the Word.

Tina

Here are some questions that we occasionally (maybe every 4 years) grapple with: Who to vote for? What are the candidates’ views on key issues? What are my views on these issues? And, most importantly, what is God’s mind on these things?

What!? God’s mind!? Who can know that? Fortunately for us, God’s views, His own laws, aren’t hidden mysteries, but have been left for us in His word, the Bible.

When the Israelites came out of Egypt, they were to become a self-governing nation and, in the light of that, God gave them His laws in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. These laws covered all aspects of society and when Israel adhered to them they prospered. However, when these were dismissed (or misinterpreted) they struggled. Also, these same laws have had an influence in many nations in the creation of their own laws.

Various interpretations can be a problem at times, but this shouldn’t make us shy away from engaging with God’s word to discover the truth. While these disputes have their own challenges, at least we are looking in the right place. In Phil. 3:15 we have an example of how Paul accommodated believers holding different views where he says, “…if in anything you think otherwise, God will (in time) reveal that also to you.”

Imagine arriving at a stadium with a friend to see a game. You may have a dispute over which entrance your tickets are instructing you to use, but that won’t make you dismiss the tickets as your reference. In this case, a wrong interpretation just means a longer walk and possibly missing some of the game. Sadly, Christians can have a negative influence on society with awful consequences through their bad interpretation of God’s word or ignorance of it.

So, studying God’s word remains an excellent means for Christians to get to know God’s mindset and, in turn, influence society. As the salt and light of this world, Christians need to appropriately share God’s ideas in the arenas where they have direct and indirect influence. Sometimes, like the boy with the loaves and the fish, a small influence can be multiplied to affect a multitude.

We can be encouraged that many of the laws that exist throughout the world already reflect God’s laws. Man, despite his sinful nature and disregard for God, still has something of a moral compass in him. Also, while we might not be able to enjoy a government that fully embraces God’s laws as it ought to, nevertheless we can be an influence for positive change.

All we can do is bring the truth to the table. How society responds in making a government that reflects God’s laws or not is up to them. Having said that, it remains our responsibility as Christian’s to direct people toward the ideal of a government that reflects all of God’s laws.

Today, many are thankful for those who previously stood for change to make their lives a better experience. Slaves, various races, females, children and others have all been helped by those who have stood for God’s laws. It still remains for many to be protected, including the most vulnerable, the unborn babies, from the murder of abortion.

For a link to help you to study God’s word you can go our Bible Coaching site.

Rob

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